Groundbreaking held for new airport terminal


While temperatures were chilly, there was an air of excitement at the Curtis Brown Jr. Field (Elizabethtown Airport) on Tuesday morning as dignitaries and guests gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new terminal building.

The new terminal, which will measure about 4,500 square feet, will be constructed on the site of the former terminal building and was designed by local Architect Chris Adams. The new terminal will feature office space, a conference room, a pilot’s lounge, classroom space, restroom facilities, kitchen space, shower facilities, and storage space. The projected completion date for the project is October 2018.

Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell welcomed members of the Elizabethtown Town Council, the Elizabethtown Airport and Economic Development Board, County Commissioners, and guests. Campbell said, “It (the airport) is a huge economic development tool. We are so thankful for that.”

Introductions included Elizabethtown Airport and Economic Development Commission’s Fred Tate, Architect Chris Adams, Graca Builders of Whiteville, and W. K. Dickson Engineer Brigid Williams.


Elizabethtown Receives Grants for Airport Terminal project

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The Curtis Brown Jr. Field (Elizabethtown Airport) has been undergoing a makeover,  which includes the construction of a new terminal building and the repairing and repaving of the parking lot.

It was announced on Friday by the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Division on Aviation that the town of Elizabethtown has received grant funding in the amount of $35,000 for the parking lot repairs and $126,000 for site work for the terminal building.

Town Manager Eddie Madden said, “This (the grants) completes all of the funding needed (for the project).”

The town awarded the bid for the construction to Graca Builders of Whiteville in October.

“The notice to proceed was issued on Wednesday, November 29th, by W. K. Dickson,” said Madden. W. K. Dickson is serving as the engineering firm for the project.

The new terminal will feature office space, a conference room, a pilot’s lounge, classroom space, restroom facilities, kitchen space, shower facilities, and storage space. The projected completion date for the project is October 2018.

Madden said a groundbreaking is set for Tuesday, Dec. 12th, at 10 a.m.

The grants received by the town are part of more than $4.7 million which have been awarded to 11 airports in North Carolina for improvements, according to the Division on Aviation.

Elise and Lydia Ussery and the PRB Leadership Academy Color Guard at NC Airport Conference in Pinehurst

Elise and Lydia Ussery of Dublin sang the national anthem and the Color Guard of Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy presented the colors this morning during the North Carolina Airport Conference held in Pinehurst.  The conference is taking place at the Pinehurst Resort and Spa.

The theme for this year’s conference is “The Economic Impact of Aviation.” Discussions during the conference will include Aviation in the North Carolina Economy, Community Engagement and Economic Development, the latest information from the NC Division of Aviation and Telling Your Story to name a few of the topics to be covered.  READ MORE 

Curtis L. Brown Airport has huge impact on local economy

A new NCDOT study indicates the Curtis L. Brown Airport in Elizabethtown has an annual economic impact of more than $4-million in the area and supports at least 30 jobs.
The study by the NC Department of Transportation is the latest report on the effects of airports, statewide, on the state’s economy.
The total dollars created by the airport, according to the report is $4,180,000, and produces direct employment of 10 jobs with another 20 jobs created from spending for a total of 30.
The report also indicated $284,000 were generated in state and local taxes.
North Carolina is served by a robust network of airports.  The report indicated airports are a critical part of North Carolina’s transportation system, linking our state to the global economy and generating economic activity, commerce, and tourism.  Seventy-two publicly owned airports in N.C. are supported annually with funds from the state for infrastructure and development projects.  The report shows how these airports are significant economic engines in our state and contribute:
* $11 billion annual economic impact
* 123,400 airport-related jobs
* $913 million in direct government revenue.
North Carolina aviation serves everyone in our state.  The economic reach of airports extends far beyond pilots and operators by supporting:
* Time-sensitive, high-value cargo and freight transport
* People, both for business and pleasure travel
* Fire fighting and medical emergency
* Search and rescue
* Military
* Agriculture
* Aerospace industry
* Tourism  READ MORE 

Aviation Director visits Elizabethtown

Aviation-Director-at-EtownNorth Carolina Division Of Aviation Director, Bobby Walston, P.E., flew into Elizabethtown today for the North Carolina Association of Airport’s State board meeting held at the Elizabethtown Town Hall.

According to, the mission of the NC Association of Airports is to promote aviation & airport management in North Carolina through networking and professional development. The NC Airports Association is a not-for-profit organization consisting of Executive, Professional, Affiliate and Honorary members.

The NC Division of Aviation core purpose is to provide Aviation Safety and Education Programs, State and Federal Airport Project Grants, Air transportation, operations, and support for state agencies, and Management of the state’s Unmanned Aircraft System Initiatives according to

Cape Fear SORBA holds bike race at Brown’s Creek Nature Park

Cape Fear SORBA holds bike race at Brown’s Creek Nature Park

By: Jacqueline Madden

Members of Cape Fear SORBA hosted the Coastal Carolina Off-Road Series bike race at Brown’s Creek Nature Park on Sunday, January 24th. There was a total of 130 racers competing in the off-road race. Over 150 spectators came out to enjoy the beautiful day and watched as the competitors raced to the finish. According to SORBA member David Raynor, “this was the largest turnout that Cape Fear SORBA has ever had at a racing event.”

The acronym ‘SORBA’ stands for Southern Off Road Bicycle Association. Cape Fear SORBA is one of many SORBA branches from all over the country and they have trails located in Elizabethtown, Castle Hayne, Leland, and Rocky Point, North Carolina. The club is made up of over 110 volunteer members who not only enjoy riding, but who also build and maintain bike trails such as the one at Brown’s Creek. 

Brown’s Creek Nature Park and Bike Trail is located across from the airport in Elizabethtown, NC, just off of Highway 87 at 1910 East Broad Street. Greg Brinson, President of Cape Fear SORBA, explains that “Brown’s Creek differs from other bike parks in the Cape Fear Region because of it’s winding, hilly terrain and because of the overall flow of the trail.”

The race was split up into several categories based on gender and age group. For a full list of results, visit

Brown’s Creek Nature Park and Bike Trail is located across from the airport in Elizabethtown, NC, just off of Highway 87 at 1910 East Broad Street and is open seven days a week from daylight to dusk.  For more information about Cape Fear SORBA or any of the parks they manage including the one in Elizabethtown,  visit


Rejuvenation Project at Elizabethtown Airport

4-Maintenance-at-Elizabethtown-AirportContractors have been working hard at the Curtis L. Brown, Jr. Field, also known as the Elizabethtown Airport adding a sealant to the asphalt on the runway and apron. The Asphalt Rejuvenation Project is State DOT funded to assist in maintaining the asphalt and safety for another eight to ten years.

Paul Rogers, with TriMat, said, “The idea is that we can avoid a costly overlay. It’s a whole array of benefits including safety.” The markings at the airport had faded, which is a safety concern for pilots. After the sealant being laid on the asphalt has had time to cure, the contractors will come back and add new markings according to Rogers.

The project started at the beginning of May and will continue about 30 days after the first phase of the project is done allowing the sealant to cure according to Rogers. He said, “The idea is to maintain the tax payer value. We come in and get everything at a level where it can be maintained for another eight to ten years.”

The airport has a 5,003 ft. lighted runway and parallel taxiway. The airport has been located at 466 Airport Road in Elizabethtown since 1988 and continues to bring value to Bladen County.

Division of Aviation to Sponsor Free Wildlife Hazard Training Sessions for Airport Personnel

RALEIGH – Wildlife can wreak havoc for airports and their staff. Birds and other animals can damage planes on the ground or cause accidents by flying into the engines or roaming on airport grounds. To increase awareness of these concerns and to improve safety for all, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation will offer free training sessions for airport operations personnel.
“This training is extremely beneficial for airport owners and operators as we all try to deter wildlife strikes at airports” said NCDOT Division of Aviation Director Bobby Walston. “A lot of very practical information and hands-on training is provided at these sessions, so we encourage any aviation users to attend.”
These sessions are open to N.C. airport personnel that are tasked with handling wildlife hazards to aviation.  The sessions will be hosted:
• Wednesday, April 8 Statesville Regional Airport (SVH)
• Tuesday, May 19  Albert J. Ellis Airport (OAJ)
• Thursday, June 25 Asheville Regional Airport (AVL)
• Wednesday, December 2 Moore County Airport (SOP)
The sessions typically run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with lunch at local restaurants. There is no cost for attendees of this training. Seating is limited; please register early, registration is on a first come first serve basis.
The NCDOT Division of Aviation in cooperation with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service- Wildlife Services will provide technical outreach and other services designed to increase safety at N.C. airports. Topics that will be discussed include:
• Topics contained in FAA Advisory Circular 150/5200-33 will be discussed
• General overview of wildlife hazards to aviation in our state and nationally
• Review of the Wildlife Hazard Assessment and Wildlife Hazard Management Plan Process
• Rules, regulations, legal reminders, wildlife permits
• Basic bird and mammal identification
• Wildlife attractants and habitat management
• Integrated management of wildlife hazards
• Record Keeping and communications
• Safety issues with equipment and procedures
To pre-register call:
Contact Jennifer Fuller NCDOT Division of Aviation
(919) 814-0560 or email  
For information about the training please call:
Mark Lowles (336) 668-2859 or email
For resources and information on Wildlife Hazards, please visit  and